Most Spaniards are not willing to get Covid-19 vaccine immediately, poll suggests

Barney Davis
·2-min read
<p>People rest on the beach in Barcelona</p> (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

People rest on the beach in Barcelona

(Emilio Morenatti/AP)

More than half of Spaniards are not willing to get Covid-19 vaccine shots as soon as they are available, a survey showed on Friday as the government announced a target of 15-20 million vaccinations by mid-2021.

Now several vaccines are in the works, one of the challenges for governments will be to convince a big enough share of their population to get vaccinated.

Even in Spain, where vaccination rates are usually high, this will be an issue, as shown by the official poll by the Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS).

About a third of the population would be ready to take the Covid-19 vaccine immediately, while 55.2 per cent of them would rather wait to see any effects on others, the poll of 2,130 people carried out between November 23-26 showed.

Out of the people who would rather wait, almost 60 per cent would change their mind if their doctor recommended them to take it because they were at risk or putting their family members at risk, the survey showed.

Only 8.4 per cent of Spaniards would refuse to take any sort of vaccine.

Spain last week unveiled its vaccination plan for when regulatory authorities give their approval. Vaccination will be free and voluntary, and is set to start in nursing homes in January.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday he expected to have between 15 and 20 million people to be vaccinated by May or June 2021. Spain has 47 million inhabitants.

In a prior CIS survey, carried out between November 3-12, 36.8 per cent said they would take the vaccine shot immediately, while 47.8 per cent said they would not, though the question in that survey did not include the option of waiting for the effects to be known.

It comes after a study last month suggested holidaymakers to Spain were responsible for the majority of the UK's coronavirus cases.

The study tracked a coronavirus variant, called 20A.EU1, that originated among Spanish farm workers in a super-spreading event.

The variant is known to have spread from farm workers to local populations in Spain in June and July. From there it spread to holidaymakers who took it back home across Europe.

Reporting by Reuters

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